The NHL was founded in 1917 as a replacement to the NHA. After unsuccessfully attempting to resolve disputes with Eddie Livingstone, owner of the Toronto Blueshirts, executives of the three other NHA franchises suspended the NHA, and formed the National Hockey League (NHL). The NHL's first quarter-century saw the league compete against two rival major leagues—the Pacific Coast Hockey Association and Western Canada Hockey League—for players and the Stanley Cup. The NHL first expanded into the United States in 1924 As a result, ice hockey players were among the best paid athletes in North America. By the mid-1920s, the NHL emerged as the sole major league in North America, as the PCHA and WCHL having merged in 1924, disbanded two years later.